Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said the Queen’s legacy was a reminder of the importance of “nurturing” Anglo-Irish relations, as he praised the late monarch’s “genuine actions” towards reconciliation.
The Taoiseach was speaking from London ahead of the state funeral on Monday morning.
Mr Martin and his wife Mary, along with Irish President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina, will be among 500 foreign dignitaries who will attend the funeral at Westminster Abbey.
The two couples visited Westminster Hall on Sunday afternoon, before signing a book of condolences at Lancaster House.
The Irish delegation was also due to attend a reception hosted by the King at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening for visiting heads of state.
Speaking to reporters in London, Mr Martin said it was a ‘very important moment in history’, adding: ‘His warmth, his genuine actions, and by his actions and by what she did, she made a huge contribution.”
He said the Queen’s visit to Ireland in 2011 was the culmination of ‘enormous work’ which ‘cemented’ reconciled Anglo-Irish relations in the modern era, and will be long remembered .
“In many ways, it gives us all time to pause and reflect on how important the Anglo-Irish relationship is, how important it is to nurture it, nurture it, for future generations.”
Addressing Irish people living in Britain who mourn the Queen’s death, as well as the Unionist community, he said: ‘We sympathize with you, we offer you our deepest condolences on your loss.
“And there is a deep sense of loss in parts of the island of Ireland, particularly in the Unionist and Loyalist community, following the death of Queen Elizabeth. I recognize that.
Speaking of the queue of people paying their respects to the Queen’s coffin, which was put on display in Westminster Hall, Mr Martin said it was ‘unbelievable’.
“It’s very moving, and I think it’s in many ways a reminder of the attachment, the bond between Britons of different generations and Queen Elizabeth.
“It’s quite an amazing thing to see firsthand, and we have to appreciate that in Ireland. There is a deep connection there. »
Asked about the number of foreign dignitaries present at the funeral, Mr Martin added: “It reflects an admiration for a person who, if I use the phrase ‘did the fundamentals well’, who served well, who served well do the duty.
“And in many ways, I did it in an unostentatious way. And that hard work ethic resonated around the world. So that really exemplifies the depth of respect that people around the world had for Queen Elizabeth.
Mr Martin said he had a “warm” meeting with British Prime Minister Liz Truss, but refrained from answering questions about the Northern Ireland protocol.
He left 10 Downing Street just under an hour after arriving to meet Ms Truss on Sunday morning, in what was to be more of an informal conversation than a traditional bilateral meeting.
Britain is expected to push forward legislation to give its ministers the power to scrap parts of the protocol, which was agreed by the UK and EU to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The EU and Ireland say Britain’s decision to unilaterally revise the post-Brexit treaty would violate international law.
Diplomatic efforts are expected to intensify in the coming weeks to find a solution.
“I don’t think now is the time, if you don’t mind, to go into detail on issues such as protocol,” Mr Martin said in a BBC Radio 4 interview, adding that he respects the UK. mourning period.
He continued: “I had a good telephone conversation last week with the British Prime Minister, I had a warm first meeting this morning where we discussed many issues in the context of Anglo-Irish relations.
“But I think the opportunity is there for us to reset the relationship and be aware of what we achieved in previous years, the obstacles that were overcome at the time.
“And it gives us the strength to know that we have the ability to overcome current obstacles, current issues that could potentially hinder the relationship, and I believe we can overcome them.”